Blogs by Ann Massey
Sweetest Things Turn Sourest By Their Deeds
1/5/2011 7:59:45 PM
When I first started to think about a title for my first novel Amah',one of the ideas I jotted down was 'Lilies that Fester,with its connotations of rot and decay, met with universal dislike from my long suffering family and friends who have been marvellous about reading my drafts - offering encouragement while showing restraint in the advice department - so I felt I had no choice than to drop my notion of giving my 'first born' a literary name.
Anyway there's no two ways about it, I was reaching high for a sordid story about self-centred girls behaving badly.
For interest,the quote is from the Shakespearean sonnet about corruption, a personal favourite. The final powerful lines are spot on. I do believe the tall poppies of the world should lead by example. The greedy, corrupt practices of high flyers like Alan Bond, Steve Vizard, Martha Stewart and Ray Williams leave a bad smell as does Crystal aka Tuff, the anti-hero of The White Amah, as I ultimately christened my newborn.
'The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself, it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.'
I wasn't being original in looking to the sonnets for inspiration. H.E. Bates did the same when he called his novel about the wonderful Larkin family: The Darling Buds of May. 'Rough winds do shake the darling buds of may,
And summer's lease has all too short a sway.'
Set in the idyllic Kentish countryside, the fresh facedfarm girls are as far removed from Tuff as Raggedy Ann is to a Bratz Doll. But then, the Larkins lived in the fifties, at a time when television programs reflected values like honour, respect, love, trust and self sacrifice. Bland by today's viewers' standards, programs like Skippy, Ivanhoe, Leave it to the Beaver and Dixon of Dock Green modelled old fashioned values. Robin Hood might have worn tights but no one ever doubted Maid Marion was still virgin intacto, along with the greater part of the single female audience.
There has been an about face from the saccharine programs of the fifties to gritty realism accompanied by a decline in old fashioned values. Is repeated exposure to men and women behaving badly a major factor? Think of Survivor that promotes winning at any cost and rewards bullies and betrayers; consider housemates on Big Brother openly copulating on national television and the foul mouths of the doll- faced ladettes and then look around you. Am I wrong in thinking that the media normalises bad behaviour and encourages a cult of self interest?
I would be interested in your thoughts.
Til next time,
Post a Comment
More Blogs by Ann Massey
Free Kindle eBook: SALVATION JANE by Ann Massey - a Christmas Gift of hope and goodwill to all men - Thursday, December 04, 2014
Special Announcement - Monday, August 25, 2014
Salvation Jane Reviewed By Janet Walker of Bookpleasures.com - Wednesday, August 28, 2013
What's the single biggest influence on contemporary literature? - Saturday, August 17, 2013
Pest Control- different pest, same solution - Friday, August 16, 2013
Random Reviews - Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Book Review: Salvation Jane - Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Cultivation of micro-organisms on the International Space Station - Thursday, August 01, 2013
Books That Defy Genre Labels - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The Author As Social Commentator - Sunday, July 28, 2013
Ban the beggars: Tough strategies proposed in Miami and Melbourne - Thursday, July 18, 2013
NEW RELEASE - Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The most remarkable woman I ever met - Sunday, July 14, 2013
Mental Illness - the link between schizophrenia and homelessness - Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Con-men & Cheats: Men who Prey on Vulnerable Women - Sunday, July 07, 2013
Serious commentary on Social Conditions Disguised as Chick-Lit - Tuesday, July 02, 2013
LOW SELF ESTEEM: LEADING CAUSE OF TEEN SUICIDE - Monday, July 01, 2013
Human rights abuse inspired Ann Massey to write Salvation Jane - Saturday, June 15, 2013
Australia's new homeless: the working poor - Saturday, May 25, 2013
Plants light up on the International Space Station - Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Biocide Conspiracy in Syria - Monday, May 06, 2013
My Success Story - Saturday, April 27, 2013
Going for Gold - Saturday, April 27, 2013
Bingo: Thirteen Lucky for Some - Saturday, April 27, 2013
Hacked - Monday, April 15, 2013
UK- style riots in Australia - not so far-fetched - Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Does anything supernatural actually exist - Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Nothing's so much fun as simply messing about in boats but ... - Friday, March 04, 2011
Tattoos more than a fashion statement - Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Shopping Can Be perilous: shopoholics in need of a fix put their lives in danger - Saturday, February 05, 2011
The Strangest and Most Interest Person I Met on Public Transport - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
The strange and amazing people you meet on public transport. - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Bioliogical Weapons Convention Ignored - Thursday, January 27, 2011
And the Winner is … - Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Bilogical Warfare : Is it ever justified? - Saturday, January 22, 2011
Multiple Births: a blessing or a blight? - Thursday, January 20, 2011
Thou shall not wash dishes - Saturday, January 15, 2011
Enter Miss Miri - Thursday, January 13, 2011
Click to Save the Rain Forest - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Borneo's Tropical Rainforest is Disappearing Fast ... So What! - Saturday, January 08, 2011
Sweetest Things Turn Sourest By Their Deeds - Wednesday, January 05, 2011